NABO publishes legal information

The National Association of Boat Owners (NABO) has for many years been concerned over some of the ways in which British Waterways (and latterly the Canal and River Trust – CRT) have interpreted the Acts of Parliament that govern the canal system.

NABO has in the past – and again recently – obtained advice from both Counsel and its own legal advisor on the relevant Acts of Parliament.  We made British Waterways aware of our opinion that it had exceeded its powers – but to little effect.  Earlier this year we brought these concerns to the attention of CRT Chief Executive Officer Richard Parry, and we have subsequently had meetings  with both him and Jackie Lewis (Head of Legal Affairs), in which we shared with them the legal opinions we had received.  Further dialogue is ongoing and, although it is clear that areas of disagreement remain, the discussions continue to be very constructive.

NABO has decided to publish the legal opinion it has obtained as a supplement to this month’s NABO News, together with our comments and CRT’s response. This material is also available on our website at and can be viewed on this link below. 

Link to NABO legal supplement.

NABO believes that with the increasing public discussions regarding enforcement, charges for overstaying, and the introduction of rules such as ‘no return within x days’  it is appropriate that our members and the wider boating public are made aware of the legal position as we understand it. We intend to remain a ‘critical friend’ of CRT, and to be proactive in our dialogue.

Further information on NABO membership can be obtained from

Important note:

The legal supplement provided by NABO contains general information based on English law and, although we try to ensure that the content is accurate and up-to-date, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to its accuracy or completeness and therefore the information and views expressed should not be relied upon. Readers should always seek appropriate legal advice before taking, or refraining from taking, any action. The contents of the supplement should not be construed as legal or other professional advice.

To the extent permitted by law, NABO disclaim liability for any loss (however caused) arising directly or indirectly from reliance on the information in this supplement.